A digital magazine challenging the twisted ideologies of groups such as Isis and al-Qaeda has been launched by Muslim leaders to “drown out violent voices”.
Imams from the UK and Europe gathered at a London summit yesterday to launch the new Haqiqah, which translates as “reality” or “truth”. The first issue focuses on Isis and their cruel reasonings behind killing, raping and pillaging.
It claims to offer a counter-narrative to the rhetoric of murderous groups with sections providing context to specific Koranic verses, which are often distorted in extremist material and also that of fierce critics who seek to discredit Islam.
In pictures: Anti-Isis protests in Jordan
In pictures: Anti-Isis protests in Jordan
1/15 Amman, Jordan
Members of Jordan's Al Assaf tribe burn a ''Wanted Dead'' poster of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi at a rally
2/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanian protesters carry an effigy of leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, during a march after Friday prayers in downtown Amman
3/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanian Queen Rania (C) holds a placard during a demonstration to express solidarity with the pilot murdered by the Islamic State
4/15 Amman, Jordan
A protester dressed in a Jordanian flag joins others as they hold up pictures of Jordanian King Abdullah and Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, while chanting slogans during a march against Islamic State
5/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanians hold banners shouting slogans during a demonstration to express their solidarity with the pilot murdered by the Islamic State
6/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanians carry banners and pictures of executed Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kassasbeh while shouting slogans against the group calling themselves the Islamic State, during a march after noon pray in downtown Amman
7/15 Amman, Jordan
Protesters hold up pictures of Jordan's King Abdullah and pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh as they chant slogans during a rally in Amman to show their loyalty to the King and against the Islamic State
8/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanians chant slogans to show their support for the government against terror during a rally
9/15 Amman, Jordan
Jawdat al-Kaseasbeh, a brother of slain Jordanians pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh, reacts to people gathering to show their support for the government against terror during a rally
10/15 Amman, Jordan
A Jordanian protester kisses a poster bearing the image of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh during a rally to show their loyalty to King Abdullah and against the Islamic State
11/15 Amman, Jordan
A Jordanian shouts slogans during a rally against the Islamic state group and in reaction to the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh by the group's militants
12/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanians carry pictures of pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh at a protest against Islamic State
13/15 Amman, Jordan
Supporters and family members of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh express their anger at his murder at the tribal gathering chamber in Amman, Jordan
14/15 Aye Village, Karak, Jordan
The King of Jordan, Abdullah II (L), embracing Safi al-Kassasbeh (R), the father of the recently executed Jordanian pilot
15/15 Aye Village, Karak, Jordan
Jordan's Queen Rania offers her condolences to the family of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, at their family home of Muath
REUTERS/Petra News Agency
The first issue opens up with words expressing concern for terrorist organisations who are using quotes from the Islamic holy book to justify their horrific and bloody actions while calling for young Muslims around the world to join them in doing so.
The magazine also explains that people who go to live in the self-proclaimed Islamic State are not dissimilar to those who Prophet Mohamed called “Khawarij,” meaning extremists or dissenters.
At least 60 British girls and women have travelled to Syria to join Isis, police say. Last month, three teenage girls from London travelled to Turkey to cross the border into the war-torn country.
Around 700 British people have travelled to Syria to fight and live alongside Isis. Counter-terrorism experts have said “this is a growing problem and it’s one of real concern.”
Haqiqah states on the first page: “The Muslim youth are being misled. Their innocence is being preyed upon. They are being forced to accept lies backed up by propaganda.
“The truth of extremism could not be further away from the truth of Islam.”
It has been estimated that there are as many 70,000 pro-Isis Twitter accounts with the group also using other social media networks such as open-source site Diaspora.
Isis supporters had even opened up their own version of Facebook called Khelafabook, which has since been shut down. Social media has been a powerful medium for groups to spread propaganda and as a tool to recruit new people.
Shaukat Warraich, chief editor of Imamsonline.com, an organisation providing a voice for Islamic religious leaders, said: “We’re turning the tide – though we still have a way to go, we know that by taking efforts to support and mobilise the huge online Muslim population we will eventually drown out the violent voices.”
The summit was attended by respected imams including Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace, and American Muslim convert Hamza Yusuf, also co-founder of California-based Zaytuna College.
The two men are both members of councils that promote moderate Islam and have published works explaining Islamic law within the context of living in non-Muslim majority countries.